LET CEO Ivan Khodabakhsh with Sebastian Pinzón, La Padera de Potosi Event Director
The Ladies European Tour is extending its global presence ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games by adding a South American pre-qualifier to its 2016 Lalla Aicha Tour School, named in honour of HRH the Late Princess Lalla Aicha of Morocco.
The event will take place in Colombia, at the prestigious La Pradera de Potosi Golf Club in La Calera on 22nd – 29th November.
The Q School at La Pradera de Potosi Golf Club reinforces the LET’s commitment to the global growth of women’s professional golf. Colombia is the third country to host an Official LET International Qualification event joining those in Morocco and The Mission Hills Resort Haikou in China supported by Mr Tenniel Chu, the Vice Chairman of Mission Hills Group.
“The Olympics will showcase golfing talent across many nations and with this qualifying school we are ensuring that strong Latin American golfers will have a path to play professionally alongside some of the world’s best talents in the Ladies European Tour.” said Maria Salgado, Marketing Director, Ladies European Tour.
“We are pleased to be bringing the passion and excitement of the LET to the next generation of professional players from that part of the world,” said Salgado.
The announcement is part of the LET’s strategy to create a development pathway from entry level golf to the heights of professionalism through richer member education, services and integration with amateur bodies.
The LET Development Department works in partnership with people, organisations and national federations to inspire women and juniors to play golf and encourage them to achieve their aspirations.
Sebastian Pinzón, La Padera de Potosi Event Director, said: ’This initiative creates opportunities for talented young women golfers in my country and sends a very positive message to the world that golf is a fast growing sport in Colombia. Our goal is to eradicate gender inequality, not only in golf, but more broadly across the economy”.
Colombia is experiencing rapid business and economic growth. The country’s economy is currently the third fastest growing in South and Central America, behind Brazil and Mexico.
Felipe Harker, Executive Director of the Colombian Golf Federation said: “We are very happy that Ladies European Tour is bringing the Q-School to our country and to La Pradera in particular. We continue to build a mutually beneficial relationship between Colombia’s women golfers and the LET. Golf has been growing significantly in our country and this event is the perfect next step”.
Joaquin Moreno, President of La Pradera Country Club said: “We are very excited at the prospect of the best women golfers in the region coming and playing our beautiful course. Its a big opportunity for us to establish our credentials as a host of major golfing events. The board of directors and I are committed to make the event a great success and we are excited to be developing an enduring and warm relationship with The Ladies European Tour”.
The LET works closely with national federations to provide playing opportunities for amateur golfers at LET events, and by encouraging LET members to share their knowledge, experience and skills.
About the Ladies European Tour (LET)
The Ladies European Tour is a company limited by guarantee, not having a share capital, and its objectives are to promote world-wide interest in the game of golf, to maintain high standards in the promotion, development and conduct of ladies’ professional golf activities, to provide opportunities in tournament play and golf promotion for women golf professionals, to co-operate with organisations engaged in golf promotion whose objectives are compatible with those of the Ladies European Tour and to protect and further the mutual interest of the Tour and its Members. Formed as the WPGA in 1978, the first series of golf tournaments took place in Great Britain in 1979. Now in its 36th year, in 2014 the Ladies European Tour features 24 tournaments in 18 different countries globally. With a strong base in Europe, the LET has in recent years expanded into new territories such as Dubai, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Turkey and China. In 2014, the international schedule began in New Zealand and concludes in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Tour’s 300+ Members represent 40 different nationalities. In 2010, the LET launched the LET Access Series, the official feeder tour to the Ladies European Tour, formed to give players not part of a major tour an opportunity to compete and progress on to the Ladies European Tour. In January 2013, Ivan Peter Khodabakhsh became Chief Executive Officer of the Ladies European Tour, whose headquarters are located at Buckinghamshire Golf Club in Denham, near London, England.